The latest TBA newsletter, packed with articles from old and recent alumni, is now available at . Among the highlights are the launch of the TBA African Alumni Group, who are planning a student conference in Kenya in July 2013, and articles celebrating the 10th anniversary of TBA courses in Madagascar.
The 2012 TBA workshop series Designing research projects in the field has been filling skills gaps that exist among African scientists in the sound design of scientific research projects for effective management of natural resources.
Organised collaboratively with partner institutions in Africa, three training workshops have so far been conducted in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. Overall, 52 people from 38 African institutions have been trained. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and many have told us they are already applying their new skills in the field.
The workshops involve talks, discussions, group exercises, practicals, seminars and case studies spread across five days. Peer review sessions are also held, with participants reviewing fellow trainees' research ideas. In addition, participants' project ideas are reviewed by teachers and given follow-up, in form of mentorship after the workshop.
Some comments from participants:
“This workshop was an eye opener.” (Nigeria participant)
“The workshop has made me more confident about the whole cycle of research and communicating ideas.
I am definitely leaving the workshop better than I came. Surely, I would influence everyone
around me, in my field and hopefully globally.” (Nigeria participant)
“The workshop was very informative, interactive and was timely especially as far as data management and data analysis is concerned. This puts me in the right position now to design a project.” (Uganda participant)
“…great workshop, motivating, inspiring and has given me the power and confidence to go to greater heights in my conservation career, good selection of facilitators, they were a real inspiration....TBA makes nurturing the young scientists in conservation/ecology real.” (Kenya participant)
“…the organization was superb, the presentations were informative and the peer interaction was excellent. I would recommend this training to other scientists…thanks for the opportunity.” (Kenya participant)
At the end of February 18 conservation scientists assembled in the foothills of Mt Kenya for the four-day workshop. They were from eight universities and colleges, four research and conservation organisations and one technical institute. Teachers came from the National Museums of Kenya, Nature Kenya and the Tropical Biology Association.
The Uganda workshop in April 2012 trained 16 conservation scientists from seven universities and four conservation institutes and local government. It was held at Makerere University Biological Field Station in Kibale National Park, with teachers from Makerere University and TBA.
Eighteen people from 14 different organisations were trained on the Nigerian workshop in July. Teachers came from the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, the Universities of Ile-Ife and Lagos and TBA.
Developing Research Capacity among African Environmental Scientists (DRECA) is a project funded by the EU's ACP Science and Technology Programme; A Programme of the ACP Group of States, with the financial assistance of the European Union.
Over 20 TBA alumni delegates made valuable contributions to the 13th Student Conference on Conservation Science in Cambridge. They presented 8 posters and 5 talks, on topics from using market research methods to selecting the best flagship species (Diogo Veríssimo) to the impact of trophy hunting on livelihoods in Tanzania (Francisca Malembeka). Alexandra Davey won the best poster prize for “Casuarina equisetifolia: Icon or Invasion?” Christina Leronymidou won 2nd prize for her talk “Multi-scale response of farmland birds to land-use in Cyprus” which explained how traditional agricultural practices on the island support bird biodiversity.
The Student Conferences on Conservation Science bring together young researchers from across the world to present their work, discuss approaches and learn new skills. Jointly organised by Cambridge University's Zoology Department, TBA and the RSPB, they provide invaluable opportunities to network and meet new colleagues and future collaborators. The 2012 conference in Cambridge was attended by over 180 delegates from 59 countries. SCCS also takes place in Brisbane, Bangalore and New York. (Thanks to Vicki Betts for providing the basis of this report).
Designed to bridge the gap in the understanding of ecosystem services and their valuation among conservation scientists and researchers in the early stages of their careers, TBA ran this workshop as part of the ATBC-ACB conference in Arusha, Tanzania in 2011. It attracted 17 participants, mostly TBA alumni, from 14 institutions in seven countries. Teaching was participatory using talks, case studies and discussions to illustrate the concept of ecosystem services and current approaches to their study and evaluation. A Ghanaian participant said afterwards: “This is a very good platform for conservationists and scientists in general to learn of new techniques and upcoming issues in research. Personally it was a big boost; keep up the good work you do. You actually change lives. You did mine .”
Our Mentor Scheme will offer personal help with scientific writing to raise the abilities, confidence and research output of our alumni.
The TBA is launching an exciting scheme to help you to develop your career, win funding and get your research work published. To complement our existing follow-up support work, we have developed a more formal way to improve your scientific writing skills.
If you have small grant proposals, draft manuscripts for publication, or need guidance with preparing PhD concept notes and other written material, this scheme is for you. We will put you in touch with senior academics and /or peer reviewers that have interests in your subject area and can offer support, through acting as an ‘e-tutor', to progress your materials to completion. Administered initially from the TBA Cambridge office, any such request will be assessed and passed to a mentor with relevant expertise to initiate one-to one support in this process.
The scheme will be open to all TBA alumni.
Please send your manuscripts to Clive Nuttman at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Anthony Kuria at email@example.com
A list of “green heroes working for the right kind of environmental change”, published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper includes a TBA alumnus: Matthew Prescott (Kibale, Uganda, 1995). He is the founder of E-day and E-Meters, which encourages people to reduce their energy consumption. The list, compiled by environmental writer George Monbiot, aimed to find 50 green pioneers, people who are making a practical difference but whose work is not yet widely known.
The list is available online atAnother alumnus, Lily-Arison Rene de Roland, is one of six Disney Conservation Heroes honoured in 2010 for “their extraordinary commitment to conservation”. Lily is National Director of The Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Project. He re-discovered the Madagascar Pochard, a diving duck thought to be extinct, and established a captive breeding programme to help increase its population. Lily has worked at all levels to help government personnel understand the project initiatives and local communities understand their role in managing their natural resources wisely. Since 2004, Disney has honoured 48 people for their extraordinary conservation efforts around the world, see
28th January, Nairobi
The TBA is a recipient of the Society for Conservation Biology Distinguished Service Award for 2005. This was awarded in recognition for TBA's contribution to the conservation of tropical biodiversity through unique and innovation capacity building and fostering of expertise and support for young conservation biologists. With a membership of 6,000 in 90 countries, and the prestigious journal Conservation Biology, the SCB is regarded as the premier professional society for those seeking to conserve biological diversity. The award was given at the 19th annual meeting of the SCB, held in Brasilia on the 15-19th July 2005.
Each year TBA produces a newsletter by our alumni for our alumni providing individual updates; news about TBA itself; and its latest activities; and most importantly articles written by past participants about their TBA course. Below are some previous newsletters that were produced.
TBA newsletter 2003 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2005 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2006 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2007 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2008 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2009 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2010 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2011 (pdf)
TBA newsletter 2012 (pdf)